I remember meeting an executive at a corporate reception a couple of years ago who was bemoaning the fact that he's just too busy to deal with what he called "the niceties" of peer-to-peer communication. According to him, there just aren't enough hours in the day to swap insignificant comments of courtesy. When he said, "I wish people would just get to the point" it struck such a chord in me that I Tweeted about it, suggesting that maybe he's missing the point:
Most of us have a love/hate relationship with the whole concept of "Secret Santa" parties at work. We love getting good swag but hate having to come up with something fabulous to buy. Standing in a store during the busiest time of year and agonizing over our contribution can be distracting, to say the least.
Limp noodle. Dead fish. Bone crusher. These are just three terms that are commonly used to describe the less than stellar handshakes we've all received at some point in our career. Other labels include icky, nasty, wimpy and downright painful. Isn't it remarkable how a simple greeting can have such a huge impact on our impression of someone's level of professionalism? As judgmental as it may sound, in our business culture, the character of one's clasp can speak volumes about the presumed calibre of their credibility.
As employees and business owners, we each have a duty to honour the commitments we make, whether that means being on time, completing tasks efficiently or fessing up when things don't go as planned. Every time we take responsibility for our actions we enhance our level of integrity, leading us to gain the reputation of being reliable while earning the respect of the people we work with and serve. This element of professionalism is dependent on one critical component: accountability.